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 Post subject: "Requiem" for solo organ by RT
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:34 pm 
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I have been working on writing a piece for solo organ since April. I have now finished this piece, though there is still a lot I would like to do with it yet.

I composed it in common time but I am now having second thoughts as it feels like it’s in three.

Though the score should be a verbatim record of the recording, I wrote a three and a half bar anacrusis after the fact and for some reason my editor will not let me add that to the original score.

Compositionally I wrote this somewhat in the style of a two part invention with the pedal as third and lowest voice acting like pedal point against the top two.

In terms of the key, I realize this piece will be hard for any organist to perform given that its has its fair share of accidentals.

I am posting a simulation of the piece and the score.

Any feedback is welcome and appreciated,

~Riley

Attachment:
Electronic Simulation-Requiem-Tucker.mp3


Attachment:
Requiem-Tucker.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: "Requiem" for solo organ by RT
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:11 am 
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Riley,
Interesting work. When you wrote that you were now thinking that the meter may be triple, I thought, "How can such a findamental aspect have been wrong?" In deed, I think you have written a work of triple meter in quadruple time :roll: . Moreso, this work doesn't strike me at all as a Requiem: it doesn't have much tristese in it, no Dies Irae :wink: , maybe only one or 2 suspensions, etc. Don't get me wrong, I like the work as it is still being birthed, but it doesn't seem to go with the title. Strange software that allows your Ab- minor last chord to have a G# root in the bass. Why not just have modulated to G# minor? (even enharmonically?). The language of this piece is tertian functional harmony, so be sure you can name every chord and describe it's function; that will clean up the score a lot. By the way, what do you mean by, "a three and a half bar anacrusis"? That makes no senses to me. I look forward to how you go forward from here with this piece. I though it ended too soon too, I wanted to hear more with different registers (stops). Maybe our resident organist can give you some pointers too :)
Regards,
Eddy

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 Post subject: Re: "Requiem" for solo organ by RT
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:14 am 
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That is a nice sounding piece ! One that I would in fact like to record and occasionally play during services (if you don't mind - you will not be credited).
The title requiem seems a bit pretentious - seems like you perceive a certain motif as a Requiem tune ? I would like to hear the bit that you wrote afterwards but could not add to the score, because the ending seems a bit wimpy (which is about my only criticism). I do not care so much if it's in triple, quadruple, or umptuple meter, nor if a note is written as A-flat or G-sharp. Those are all theoretical matters to me. As for registration, I am not of the opinion that changing registers is always necessary to make an organ piece interesting. If it's a longer piece with really contrasting sections, yes, but not in a short straightforward piece like this. Then of course organists have great liberty to do whatever they want with registrations, unless explicit details are given in the score (as usual with French romantic repertoire).

Now why on earth would a couple of flats and sharps make this hard for organists to perform ? Don't you think organists can read music as well as pianists - if not better ?

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 Post subject: Re: "Requiem" for solo organ by RT
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:54 pm 
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Chris,
What do you mean he "won't be credited"?

I understood that his extra music was what we heard that came before what is scored, not at the end (at least that's what I heard and saw).

Now to the matter of proper spelling in music, I submit that you actually care very much about it because if you were to be presented the score to a "regular sounding" piece that was full of mis-spelled chords and enharmonic equivalents for notes entirely out of context, you would dare I say complain about how unintelligible the score was for such a friendly-sounding piece. After all what is a [Dbb - E# -A] triad spell? Think hard. It spells "illiterate in the language of music," that's what it spells (F major in 2nd inversion, and it has no F!). I abhor the poor English that has become ubiquitous in the USA, with stores called Kum-n-Go, and kat for cat, and too many horrible examples that I dare say would never be allowed in a civilized country like France, Spain, Germany, even (especially) England. But please lets not let it creep into our music too! There are definite reasons why an augmented 4th resolves to a 6th, whereas a diminshed 5th resolves to a 3rd, so they are never interchanged by "literate" composers. Anyway, I guess you can tell that this is important to me, a pet peeve perhaps.

I concur with you completely regarding the matter of key signature, musicians are musicians whether they are pianists, organists, harpsichordists, or harpists. Are there any other kinds? :mrgreen:

Eddy

Edit: Spelling, or misspelling

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Last edited by musical-md on Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: "Requiem" for solo organ by RT
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:11 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
Chris,
What do you mean he "won't be credited"?

I mean, Eddy, that any music the organist chooses to play before, after, and during breaks in a service is anonymous. It's 'gebrauchsmusik', nothing more. There is no program of it, and people don't actually care what it is you play as long as it sounds half decent. Nobody ever asks, not even if they say it was nice (with only one or two exceptions, and that was when I played piano instead of organ.

musical-md wrote:
Now to the matter of proper spelling in music, I submit that you actually care very much about it because if you were to be presented the score to a "regular sounding" piece that was full of mis-spelled chords and enharmonic equivalents for notes entirely out of context, you would dare I say complain about how unintelligible the score was for such a friendly-sounding piece. After all what is a [Dbb - E# -A] triad spell? Think hard. It spells "illiterate in the language of music," that's what it spells (F major in 2nd inversion, and it has no F!). I abhor the poor English that has become ubiquitous in the USA, with stores called Cum-N-Go, and kat for cat, and too many horrible examples that I dare say would never be allowed in a civilized country like France, Spain, Germany, even (especially) England. But please lets not let it creep into our music too! There are definite reasons why an augmented 4th resolves to a 6th, whereas a diminshed 5th resolves to a 3rd, so they are never interchanged by "literate" composers. Anyway, I guess you can tell that this is important to me, a pet peeve perhaps.

Whatever you say, professor :)

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 Post subject: Re: "Requiem" for solo organ by RT
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:25 pm 
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Chris,
To your first reply, now I understand.

To your second reply, ouuu the sarcasm. :evil: I must admit that I sound angry in the post, but I assure you I wasn't. I did use to teach theory in a conservatory so allow me to "wax eloquent," or at least theoretical. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: "Requiem" for solo organ by RT
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:18 pm 
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@ Chris and Eddy

Thanks for your feedback, it helps me as I try to see the piece from how others see it 8)

Replying to Eddy,

Quote:
Interesting work. When you wrote that you were now thinking that the meter may be triple, I thought, "How can such a findamental aspect have been wrong?" In deed, I think you have written a work of triple meter in quadruple time


Why such a fundamental aspect could have been wrong is how I go about starting to write a piece. I start, and this could be replaced by a better method, by thinking of the pickup, so I formed the Ab and continued to write, if I started in three with the Ab the phrases would be shifted into a strange X l 2 l 3 l 1 pattern so that is why I made that choice.

Quote:
Moreso, this work doesn't strike me at all as a Requiem: it doesn't have much tristese in it, no Dies Irae , maybe only one or 2 suspensions, etc.


I agree that when this piece is compared to, say, Mozart's Requiem mass in D minor, there is a lot that is left to be desired. Don’t know if you were thinking of that piece. That said, I think that piece stands alone and I wasn’t trying to write a piece in that style. Though when I came up with the title (and I agree with Chris, that it is somewhat pretentious :oops: ) How I came up with it, was I was thinking of the words definition, which is a composition for the dead. Not dead in the physical sense, but in a spiritual sense. Maybe it is too much of a stretch, but I thought of the piece representing the direction our society in America. Our society seems to be accepting more and more of a secular ideology (separation of church and state) rather than what the US has been known to be, historically, “one nation under god.” So it is a lament of this acceptance. Eddy when you say this piece does not have "tristese" in it (I assume you mean, in other words, lament/melancholy?) I tried to put this in in mm. 8-11, among most of the piece. I am kind of confused why you did not sense that. Though I will say the absence of expression or breaking of phrases in the electronic simulation doesn’t help emphasize the “tristese” -Isn’t that sad! :(

About suspensions, I agree that technically, there are few suspensions, though I would qualify the opening mm. 1-8, though there is not preparation, dissonance and resolution, as per Ralph Turek’s Elements of music definition, but I would argue the step wise motion alludes to a 4-3 suspension type feel, if not a 4-3 suspension by technical standards.

Quote:
Strange software that allows your Ab- minor last chord to have a G# root in the bass. Why not just have modulated to G# minor? (even enharmonically?).


It's true, the software is programmed weird. I used Finale Notepad 2011. For what it offers, it really leaves a lot to be desired. And for this reason it's why I am now using Notation Composer, though the organ plug-in admittedly of finale sounds good (it could be better), one qualm about the Notation Composer program is it does not have an blank Organ template.

Quote:
The language of this piece is tertian functional harmony, so be sure you can name every chord and describe it's function; that will clean up the score a lot.


Not Analysis!... :) lol. I agree that naming each chord could be of great use, as when it is simplified to an abstract level, it would help to see the parts not just as parts but parts within a whole. From the note to the motif to the phrase to the period/section to the full piece. This was a topic we covered in my music theory class last semester, though we studied Dvorak and Gluck among others and I know their musical logic outshines mine. That said, these composers can be considered as men of musical genius, so not everyone has the ability to write great music, and some aren’t even interested in the sport. In a matter of speech, “it’s not for everyone.”

Quote:
By the way, what do you mean by, "a three and a half bar anacrusis"? That makes no senses to me.


It is the beginning of the piece. Like the pick up basically, though I would say the Ab in the right hand is the actual pickup. I will post it at the bottom of this.

Quote:
I though[t] it ended too soon too, I wanted to hear more with different registers (stops). Maybe our resident organist can give you some pointers too


I’m surprised you said it ended too soon. I could try to make it longer, at the expense of it sounding repetitive. I like to keep things short and sweet. Though they usually end up sounding bittersweet :)

Quote:
I abhor the poor English that has become ubiquitous in the USA, with stores called Kum-n-Go, and kat for cat, and too many horrible examples that I dare say would never be allowed in a civilized country like France, Spain, Germany, even (especially) England. But please lets not let it creep into our music too! There are definite reasons why an augmented 4th resolves to a 6th, whereas a diminshed 5th resolves to a 3rd, so they are never interchanged by "literate" composers. Anyway, I guess you can tell that this is important to me, a pet peeve perhaps.


I agree, the poor spelling of words is annoying. Someone was telling me that typically you spell accidental notes with sharps on the way up and flats on the way down. But when you are in a key sometimes you are confined to using double sharps which seems to defeat the whole purpose of simplifying reading the piece for the player. Though I disagree with the argument that in order to be a “literate” composer you must spell everything a certain way. As if Claire de Lune was written in three different key and time signatures with notes enharmonic in rhythm and pitch to the original and a pianist had practiced the piece well, I would still be blown away by the piece, albeit say Debussy wanted to make the piece into a romantic nocturne/etude that would have rendered the piece inaccessible to amateur pianists, unless they converted the piece into 9/8 and G flat if I have those signatures right.

Quote:
I did use to teach theory in a conservatory so allow me to "wax eloquent," or at least theoretical.


Any and all lessons you can give me are appreciated! :D


Responding to Chris:

Quote:
That is a nice sounding piece ! One that I would in fact like to record and occasionally play during services (if you don't mind - you will not be credited).


Thanks for listening and glad you found it sounding nice! About recording it, that would be great, let me know if you do. About not receiving credit, I have not heard of “gebrauchsmusik.” or the idea of playing music in a service without the piece being printed in the Sunday bulletin. So when you played the piano was the exception that they said your piano piece was nice, or do you mean they asked you what the piece was? It wouldn’t be the end of the world of people knew the name of the piece and that I wrote it. I don’t know what would be detested to be played at your church but if you played the piece I would hope it wouldn’t go over like the paris premiere of the rite of spring !

Quote:
I would like to hear the bit that you wrote afterwards but could not add to the score, because the ending seems a bit wimpy (which is about my only criticism).


I am including the ancrusis in the bottom of this post. So you also didn’t like the end. One thing I don’t like about organ, is that dynamics are basically fixed. If I was writing for piano I might add smorzando to give the piece more of a lilting finish, but with the organ, of course, the sustain ends after the key is reset to its upright position, not as with piano. Maybe I could make the end more with a struggle in the left hand and pedal giving way to a delayed release of tension in the right hand.

Quote:
Those are all theoretical matters to me. As for registration, I am not of the opinion that changing registers is always necessary to make an organ piece interesting.


My theory teacher was saying towards the end of last semester that the way a good cellist or violinist interprets an A sharp is different than how he interprets a B flat. The A sharp being sonically closer to an A and a B flat closer to a B. I guess it goes without saying that these matters are not the care of a trained pianist who goes to play the same notes. Though I disagree with you on the other point. I would say the stops on an organ change the way the piece is heard. A passage played on pipe organ on string pipes will probably give the piece a different image and shape than if the same was played through the Diapasons stop. I am not familiar with the French romantic repertoire, would like to check it out. Do you mean like the Les six and Debussy ?

Quote:
Now why on earth would a couple of flats and sharps make this hard for organists to perform ? Don't you think organists can read music as well as pianists - if not better ?


I agree that Organists have a job one “step” harder than pianists. In quite a literal sense! Pianists are accountable for using their hands for reading the grandstaff, while an organist has that and the pedal board to step. I have to agree with Eddy, that a regular sounding piece would be devilishly hard with double flats and the like, and in my piece I have indeed more than just a couple of accidentals, seems like in general at least a couple per measure - and not just scattered across one of the clefs, but scattered across all three lines. I can’t say much definitively about things being easy or hard on organ because I don’t play it, but I can’t imagine commanding three appendages to move simultaneously, in very specific places-- talk about multitasking! Organists must be the masters of multitasking :)

Here is the anacrusis

Attachment:
Anacrusis.JPG

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 Post subject: Re: "Requiem" for solo organ by RT
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:21 pm 
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pianoman342 wrote:
Thanks for listening and glad you found it sounding nice! About recording it, that would be great, let me know if you do. About not receiving credit, I have not heard of “gebrauchsmusik.” or the idea of playing music in a service without the piece being printed in the Sunday bulletin. So when you played the piano was the exception that they said your piano piece was nice, or do you mean they asked you what the piece was? It wouldn’t be the end of the world of people knew the name of the piece and that I wrote it. I don’t know what would be detested to be played at your church but if you played the piece I would hope it wouldn’t go over like the paris premiere of the rite of spring !

Hehe, I would not play a piece that would be detested. This one would certainly go down as well as anything else, and possibly better than some other things I've come up with (my lame improvisations for example).
Indeed no program is given of the 'incidental music'. Only for the songs and psalms that are to be sung are printed. All else is left to the organist, who can more or less do whatever they please. I try to keep a bit in style though. No jazzy or virtuoso stuff for example. It happens regularly that somebody says they enjoyed the music, but only once or twice has somebody asked what it actually was. Church goers don't seem particularly music minded somehow.

pianoman342 wrote:
I am including the ancrusis in the bottom of this post. So you also didn’t like the end. One thing I don’t like about organ, is that dynamics are basically fixed. If I was writing for piano I might add smorzando to give the piece more of a lilting finish, but with the organ, of course, the sustain ends after the key is reset to its upright position, not as with piano. Maybe I could make the end more with a struggle in the left hand and pedal giving way to a delayed release of tension in the right hand.

As I don't know what an anacrucis is you'll have to tel me how exactly this fits in with the rest of the score.
As for dynamics, that is well possible on a organ with a swell register, and dynamics are widely used in romantic and modern organ music. Baroque organs of the kind I favor don't have that though, and I cannot say I ever longed for it. Organists can create dynamic changes by a certain extent through different articulation (more or less air between the notes).

pianoman342 wrote:
Though I disagree with you on the other point. I would say the stops on an organ change the way the piece is heard. A passage played on pipe organ on string pipes will probably give the piece a different image and shape than if the same was played through the Diapasons stop.
I'm not saying that registration doesn't matter ! It does a lot, and requires much consideration and experimentation. I just object to the general idea that registration changes during a piece are essential, just because you can. It hardly ever is in Baroque music (which admittedly is mostly all I play on organ).

pianoman342 wrote:
I am not familiar with the French romantic repertoire, would like to check it out. Do you mean like the Les six and Debussy ?

No, I mean the guys like Franck, Widor, Guilmant, Vierne, Tournemire, Dupre, Messiaen, etc... It's repertoire that I respect rather than love though.

pianoman342 wrote:
I agree that Organists have a job one “step” harder than pianists. In quite a literal sense! Pianists are accountable for using their hands for reading the grandstaff, while an organist has that and the pedal board to step. I have to agree with Eddy, that a regular sounding piece would be devilishly hard with double flats and the like, and in my piece I have indeed more than just a couple of accidentals, seems like in general at least a couple per measure - and not just scattered across one of the clefs, but scattered across all three lines. I can’t say much definitively about things being easy or hard on organ because I don’t play it, but I can’t imagine commanding three appendages to move simultaneously, in very specific places-- talk about multitasking! Organists must be the masters of multitasking :)

As far as coordinating two hands with two feet, yes. That can be pretty mind-boggling especially when there are 3 or more wholly independent voices with their own timbre, theme, and character, like in Bach's Trio Sonatas or some of the more elaborate chorales. Reading the notes is not by definition harder than on piano, where 3 (sometimes more) staves are quite common, sometimes with far more notes on them. Although I do wonder what an organ symphony by Sorabji would look and feel like....

I'll give your piece a go when I next go practice organ.

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 Post subject: Re: "Requiem" for solo organ by RT
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:59 am 
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@Riley,
Excellent replies to all.
@Chris,
Anacrusis is fancy for "upbeat." Thus my confusion as to how someone can have 3-bars of anacrusis.
g@Riley,
I'm afraid you remember it wrong (hopefully your teacher didn't): A# is HIGHER than Bb. I would love to explain this if you REALLY want to know how/why. It would involve just a bit of math, but musically you would appreciate that an A# would "wish" to resolve to a B, whereas a Bb would "wish" to resolve to an A. They are taking the easy (short) route. Anyway, I do want to encourage you with your composing; the music sounds good! When I said it ended too soon, it was just my way of saying that I wanted more, not that the work is amputated or anything.

<Calling me for dinner; got to run.>

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 Post subject: Re: "Requiem" for solo organ by RT
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:25 am 
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Hey Riley,

You have created an interesting piece. You have taken a basic simple motive and explored its possibilities. This is the type of technique that you often find in Bach, Beethoven, and Haydn to name a few.

As far as the title, remember that "requiem" simply means "rest". Its association with the "Mass for the Dead" is from several centuries of usage. It was derived from the initial prayer "Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine" – "Grant them eternal rest, O Lord". Though in the standard form for the Roman Catholic mass there are specific texts to be used, composers since at least the mid-nineteenth century have often taken substantial liberties. Brahm's "A German Requiem" gets gathered his texts from Martin Luther's Bible. There is no "Dies Irae". There are other examples of unusual "Requiem" compositions.

As far as notation, this is an area that you can use some practice. Consider that music notation is a "picture" or "graph" of the sound. One should be able to get a sense of the music visually, to be able to get a sense of the rhythmic flow, the melodic shapes, and the harmoncic movement without having to pick up an instrument. It is one thing to spend time working on technical and interpretive problems, it is quite something else to need to spend time deciphering the notation. I have taken the liberty of re-notating your piece so that you can see the difference.

As far as the meter, most of the piece is decidedly in 3/4 time. In your notation in 4/4, the piece contains numerous ties across the barline, often in ways that look as if there will be a lot of syncopation when in reality there is only one moment of syncopation caused by a tie across a bar line. The 4/4 notation contains about 21 ties, in 3/4 there are only about 10.

About the 9th measure from the end, the piece does seem to switch to 4/4. This transition to me is a little awkward.

In my notation, there are a few spots that I retained 4/4. These measures occur at cadence points and probably would be best handled with a ritardando and/or a fermata. There is a 5/4 measure that works similarly. This occurs at the transition into the 4/4 feel.

As far as the "3 bar anacrucis", in 3/4 it is actually 4 measures (actually repeated) and is nothing more than an introduction. An "anacrucis" or upbeat is what your initial Ab is -- it actually occurs on the third beat before the downbeat Db. It is by its nature weak and prepares for the strong downbeat. Your introduction ends with a masculine perfect authentic cadence on tonic which is a strong ending and is complete in and of itself.

Concerning pitch notation, when I first saw the piece, I expected something somewhat atonal. There is a unique mixture of sharps and flats. In several instances, such as in the first measure of the main piece, you have the same pitch notated with two different notes -- C# in the pedal and Db in the bass clef. This is confusing to read and helps to obscure what is really happening in the music.

Another huge issue is the use of augmented unisons, and in a few cases doubly augmented unisons. These are different inflections of the same basic pitch. For example, the first measure in the manual bass cleff contains Db and D#. In other cases you have a string of D's -- Db D Db D Db. Visually these look like the same note and obscure the melodic line.

Anyway, in the pdf that I'm attaching, I have re-notated the piece in C# minor. It could potentially be done in G# minor since that is how it ends but C# minor seemed a bit more logical simply because the tonal areas that you explore are most related to C# -- F#m (sub-dominat), E (relative major), G#m (dominant minor).

You may wonder why C#minor or G#minor and not Db minor or Ab minor. Db minor would be the relative minor of Fb major which would require a Bbb in the key signature! Ab minor's relative major is Cb major -- a perfectly legiimate key but uncommon.

I think that you will see that the melodic shapes and the step-wise motion that occurs throughout the piece is much clearer. Also the harmonic movement is much clearer.

One final note, your final G# pedal is below the range of the pedal keyboard, which ends at the 2 leger line C below the bass clef.

I hope this helps. Keep up the good work.

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: "Requiem" for solo organ by RT
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:06 pm 
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Now that's what I'm talking about. Nice work Scott! Riley, you can learn a great deal by comparing the two scores and pondering the differences carefully. What amazing help is available from this community!

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 Post subject: Re: "Requiem" for solo organ by RT
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:22 pm 
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@Chris
Indeed no program is given of the 'incidental music'. Only for the songs and psalms that are to be sung are printed.

I see, that how it is for us, though most of the music that is performed is liturgical, I guess you could say every church family is music minded in that they are able to sing praise songs :)

Quote:
As I don't know what an anacrucis is you'll have to tel me how exactly this fits in with the rest of the score.
As for dynamics, that is well possible on a organ with a swell register, and dynamics are widely used in romantic and modern organ music. Baroque organs of the kind I favor don't have that though, and I cannot say I ever longed for it. Organists can create dynamic changes by a certain extent through different articulation (more or less air between the notes).


Didn’t know that about dynamics. I have listened to some Wurlitzer music and now that I think about it there was some vibrato in one of the songs in my collection Victor Herbert’s “Kiss me Again” not at all classical, but that is interesting to hear about dynamics used in organ that early. From what I know there aren’t a lot of pieces back in the baroque period that used forte or piano, though fermatas were used perhaps like a catch-all end- the- piece- with- impact type directive. Also when I say anacrusis I mean the introduction as is written twice from the top in the c charp minor score.

@Eddy
Quote:
I'm afraid you remember it wrong (hopefully your teacher didn't)

You’re right-- I remembered it wrong :oops: . It was the opposite of what it would seem to be, that is, the A sharp resolving to a B and B flat resolving to an A, not to parallel keys as I thought.

@ Scott,
Thanks for taking the time to give me some feedback, and re-writing score, talk about a chore, that requires lot of computer work and it is much appreciated! I liked the alternate score you came up with for Werner in his prelude piece I agree that C sharp minor works more efficiently as a key signature for this piece than a minor or c major.

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You have created an interesting piece. You have taken a basic simple motive and explored its possibilities. This is the type of technique that you often find in Bach, Beethoven, and Haydn to name a few.


Thanks! Interesting that you bring up these great composers for the example. The style I had in mind was something like that of Alban Bergs Sonata no.1, though this piece does not resemble the same form or tonality of the work, the idea of expanding upon a theme is what I took from it.
As far as the title, remember that "requiem" simply means "rest". Its association with the "Mass for the Dead" is from several centuries of usage. It was derived from the initial prayer "Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine" – "Grant them eternal rest, O Lord". Though in the standard form for the Roman Catholic mass there are specific texts to be used, composers since at least the mid-nineteenth century have often taken substantial liberties. Brahm's "A German Requiem" gets gathered his texts from Martin Luther's Bible. There is no "Dies Irae". There are other examples of unusual "Requiem" compositions.
Thanks for the word history, I wasn’t aware of it. I suppose Requiem has been stretched these days to work as in “requiem for a dream” the movie or requiem: momento mori the videogame. :?

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As far as notation, this is an area that you can use some practice. Consider that music notation is a "picture" or "graph" of the sound. One should be able to get a sense of the music visually, to be able to get a sense of the rhythmic flow, the melodic shapes, and the harmoncic movement without having to pick up an instrument. It is one thing to spend time working on technical and interpretive problems, it is quite something else to need to spend time deciphering the notation. I have taken the liberty of re-notating your piece so that you can see the difference.


I agree that a piece much easier to read, and better to make sense of visually when it makes full use of the five lines and does not go overboard with accidentals.

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As far as the meter, most of the piece is decidedly in 3/4 time. In your notation in 4/4, the piece contains numerous ties across the barline, often in ways that look as if there will be a lot of syncopation when in reality there is only one moment of syncopation caused by a tie across a bar line. The 4/4 notation contains about 21 ties, in 3/4 there are only about 10.


The reason there are so many ties is because for some reason this editor will not let me place two notes of different values on the same metric beat or sub-beat (for example a whole note A on beat one with a C eightnote going to a E on the and of one) About the ties, I’ll take 10 over 21 any day :) Though I will say, even if there is fewer ties, visually, to me, a piece is strange if it doesn’t have phrases filling measures evenly. For example, if a phrase starts on beat one of measure one, but ends on beat one of measure three instead of beat four of measure two unless its jazz, it would kind of strike me as silly if I was reading it with the expectation that it was “classical music.” So in my defense that is why I would keep it as 4/4

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About the 9th measure from the end, the piece does seem to switch to 4/4. This transition to me is a little awkward.


Yes it is weird, I see why you pointed it out, it is the part of this piece that I have been wrestling for weeks at how I could fix it, (it really sticks out) but it seems even if I delayed the ¾ section longer, sooner or later it has to become 4/4 before the final ¾ 3 quarter fermata ending.

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In my notation, there are a few spots that I retained 4/4. These measures occur at cadence points and probably would be best handled with a ritardando and/or a fermata. There is a 5/4 measure that works similarly. This occurs at the transition into the 4/4 feel.


I am a little wary of switching from 4/4 to ¾ to 5/4 so often, as you have written in the c sharp minor score. I see why you did it, and it looks a hell of a lot cleaner than the borrowed division tuplets with the listesso tempo directive that I wrote.

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As far as the "3 bar anacrucis", in 3/4 it is actually 4 measures (actually repeated) and is nothing more than an introduction. An "anacrucis" or upbeat is what your initial Ab is -- it actually occurs on the third beat before the downbeat Db. It is by its nature weak and prepares for the strong downbeat. Your introduction ends with a masculine perfect authentic cadence on tonic which is a strong ending and is complete in and of itself.


For the 4/4 measures you put in the introduction (I will stop calling it anacrusis now as it seems to be causing confusion :) ) I now think it could be more efficient as a 2/4 bar with the second beat with a fermata and just putting repeats measure 1-5. A question I have is how did you notate this score? Did you enter it using a mouse or a keyboard?

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Concerning pitch notation, when I first saw the piece, I expected something somewhat atonal. There is a unique mixture of sharps and flats. In several instances, such as in the first measure of the main piece, you have the same pitch notated with two different notes -- C# in the pedal and Db in the bass clef. This is confusing to read and helps to obscure what is really happening in the music.

Another huge issue is the use of augmented unisons, and in a few cases doubly augmented unisons. These are different inflections of the same basic pitch. For example, the first measure in the manual bass cleff contains Db and D#. In other cases you have a string of D's -- Db D Db D Db. Visually these look like the same note and obscure the melodic line.


I agree, the pitch notation could be better, and I think you fixed that with your score. Though I wouldn’t be that hard for me as a player to see a note sharped then a note natural then a note sharped then a note natural (Db D Db D etc..), though I admit it would look better one step up and down. And just something I noticed of your score the and of beat three is incorrect it should go to the e natural not the d natural.

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Anyway, in the pdf that I'm attaching, I have re-notated the piece in C# minor. It could potentially be done in G# minor since that is how it ends but C# minor seemed a bit more logical simply because the tonal areas that you explore are most related to C# -- F#m (sub-dominat), E (relative major), G#m (dominant minor).

You may wonder why C#minor or G#minor and not Db minor or Ab minor. Db minor would be the relative minor of Fb major which would require a Bbb in the key signature! Ab minor's relative major is Cb major -- a perfectly legiimate key but uncommon.

I think that you will see that the melodic shapes and the step-wise motion that occurs throughout the piece is much clearer. Also the harmonic movement is much clearer.


I agree and as far as key signatures go, I think your reasoning here is sound. I can’t imagine reading Bbb... and I don’t know of many pieces that have Cb as key signature. Albeniz Evocacion is one, though I think I could understand it more clearly if it was in B major. Going back from 7 flats seems harder to me than going forward one half step with 5 sharps.

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One final note, your final G# pedal is below the range of the pedal keyboard, which ends at the 2 leger line C below the bass clef.

I didn’t know this about pedal range. Will have to see about building an organ that has 20+ foot pipes! Sidenote, I actually heard of a grand piano that was built that had about 15 keys added to the bottom of the normal 88. Can’t imagine what that would sound like :) Getting back OT, I probably should have consulted a book on orchestration to know the range of the instrument I was working on! About your pedal notations, I think they are a good idea, though I can’t imagine doing double stops on the pedal board (that is using both feet in a two note chord as you direct in your score in the first full measure -the c sharp octave ascending-) from what I know about the organ, and admittedly I don’t know much :D, the pedal is to be used for reinforcement of the lower manual (bass clef of the manual) for homophonic music, typically calling for whole notes or on the short side articulations per every beat (so yours does this and it works) but doing a lot of moving around down there (even having the feet imitate the great movement that the hand offers seems like an implausible task, though it is intriguing.

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I hope this helps. Keep up the good work.


Thanks again for your help and look forward to your piano recordings,

~Riley

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 Post subject: Re: "Requiem" for solo organ by RT
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:26 am 
maybe only one or 2 suspensions, etc. Don't get me wrong, I like the work as it is still being birthed, but it doesn't seem to go with the title. Strange software that allows your Ab- minor last chord to have a G# root in the bass. Why not just have modulated to G# minor? (even enharmonically?). The language of this piece is tertian functional harmony, so be sure you can name every chord and describe it's function; that will clean up the score a lot. By the way, what do you mean by, "a three and a half bar anacrusis"? That makes no senses to me.

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 Post subject: Re: "Requiem" for solo organ by RT
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:38 am 
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Admins, we need to get rid of this radio controlled (RC) guy -- he's posting parts of text just to get his business link in here. :-(

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 Post subject: Re: "Requiem" for solo organ by RT
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:42 pm 
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